Hello Virtual Travel Buddies! Yes, it’s been a while since we spoke. Much has been happening as a result of this project and I’ll share the good, the bad, and the oh-so-ugly in the next article. In the meantime, I’d like to introduce you to a new section on Drop Me Anywhere – Hotel and other recommendations. I’ve stayed at many different types of accommodations, both before and during this project. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I’ve been sleeping around during this journey (wait, it’s not as bad as it sounds), by staying at high-end hotels, low-end hotels, very low-end hotels, private rooms in hostels, camper vans, trains, airplanes, boutique hotels, guest houses, homestays, B&B’s, Airbnb’s, friends’ houses, friend’s parents’ houses, yurts, and even a nudist RV resort. And while I’ve told you general information about them, I thought it might help you in your travels if I were more specific about their locations and what they have to offer. And while you may find more than hotels in this section – activities, travel products, and more – much concentration will be placed on comfy places to lay your head. If I stay someplace and I don’t feel I can recommend staying there, well, I won’t be writing about them in this section as I don’t want to waste your time. Besides, mom always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, well. . . .”
So, for our first hotel, let’s talk about the La Tour Belvedere Apartment and Hotel in Montreal, Canada. I visited Montreal for a job interview two-weeks ago. During my stay, the company put me up at a hotel. I decided to stay in town for an extra night but, as the hotel the company had reserved for my stay was above my budget, I found this one just a mile-or-so away. The area is known as Shaughnessy Village, and it’s a good place to find less-expensive accommodations, as many students live there; the Atwater Metro Station is two-blocks away.
From the outside, the Belvedere looks a bit sketchy; it’s a basic entrance with a tiny parking area. Still, when I walked into the small lobby, it was clean, and well-lit (as were a couple of women I rode the elevator with). I’d been up quite early and was disappointed that my room wasn’t ready. I’m generally not one to get upset about this as most hotels advertise their check-in times, and we were nowhere near that. Still, I was tired and needed a nap, and it was pouring rain outside which made a comfy hotel room even more desirable. I was thrilled when, after asking, they said they could switch my room to one that was ready.
Taking the elevator to the ninth-floor, I opened the door to my upgraded Executive Suite and, as I walked in, I found a dining table with a three chairs (hip-hip-hurray!), a full kitchen including an oven, stovetop, microwave, full-sized refrigerator and all you need to cook and eat a nice meal. The only things not included were the ingredients and a personal chef to cook it (I think they might charge extra for this). As I was staying for only one night, I headed down the rainy streets to the food-court in the mall two-blocks away to grab some Thai carry-out. While I forgot my umbrella up in my room, the front desk was nice enough to loan me one of theirs.
My room had a basic, yet comfortable, living-room area with a sofa, chair, tables, lamps and TV. My separate bedroom had a comfortable, queen-sized bed and another TV. The bathroom was clean and set up well and included a basket with amenities. It’s a bit unfortunate that in-room thermostats don’t work and you must call the front desk to get the temperature adjusted. (Yes, I’m that girl, “I’m hot, I’m cold.” Just call me Goldilocks.)
Due to my 7:00am flight (ugh), I didn’t have a chance to sample their breakfast but they offer both a hot breakfast and a continental one which includes fruit, pastries, yogurt, bread, juice and coffee. Luckily, there’s also a coffee maker in the room.
La Tour Belvedere has an indoor pool, sauna, exercise room, self-service laundry and WiFi ($5.00 per day charge). All rooms have a full kitchen. With 2016 winter prices generally below $80 and summer prices right around $100 (that’s in Canadian Dollars which means, with current exchange rates, Americans can get a great deal), the value for your money here is good. Again, don’t be put off by their entrance as, unless you plan to sleep on their doorstep, it’s the room and the service which matters (at least to me) and I found La tour Belvedere a comfortable stay in a generally good location with many interesting attractions within a close walk or metro ride.
All-in-all – Here are my ratings on a scale of 1-5 (5 being oh-so-fabulous and 1 being oh-so-disappointing:
Location – 4
Cleanliness – 5
Comfort – 4
Value – 5
Service – 4
Overall Rating – 4
Keep in mind, ratings are based on the value for the price paid. If I were paying Ritz Carlton prices, rating would be different.
To book a room or, for more information, please visit http://www.tourbelvedere.com/default-en.html
Tune in for the crazy story of what happened when I returned home and what’s next. And check back on this tab soon to see more accommodation, activity and product review.